Hilary Putnam, without doubt, is one of the most innovative and influential philosophers of our time. However, the breadth and variety of his philosophical contributions have made the task of summarizing and evaluating the full span of his work difficult, if not impossible. The present volume brings together articles by Putnam and thirteen other philosophers, many of them former students and colleagues, on central themes from his work. The papers, with a few exceptions, were first delivered at a conference in University College Dublin in March 2007, marking Hilary Putnam’s 80th birthday.1 The volume reflects the prevailing atmosphere where participants acknowledged not just the importance of Putnam’s work, but also his enormous impact, as a colleague and teacher, on stimulating and shaping the thinking of several generations of philosophers in America and elsewhere. Accordingly, the collection not only engages with the work of a great philosopher, providing an overview and analysis of his thinking over several decades, but it also offers original contributions to ongoing philosophical debates in a number of areas. Putnam, almost uniquely among the philosophical greats, is willing to

rethink his views continuously and to reengage with the issues that have preoccupied him for six decades. Yet, a number of prominent themes run through his philosophical life. The question of realism, an insistence on the essential role of objectivity in characterizing truth and knowledge, preoccupation with questions of intentionality, opposition to a variety of positions arising out of logical positivism, a continuous concern with questions of norms and values, and an aversion to dichotomized thinking are constant themes. The present volume sheds light on some of these issues in their various permutations. In doing so, it offers ways of reading and re-reading Putnam and his impact on philosophy, an exercise to which Putnam contributes fully, in the Prologue, by reassessing his own philosophical positions and their development, and through responses to the individual contributors to the book.